Rockefeller Center Christmas

Last December I ventured to Rockefeller Center with Audrey Hawkins to draw the skaters in the midst of the Manhattan Christmas melee. Unlike this year's balmy December weather (reported high of 66˙ today in NYC) last year was much less forgiving. The drawing below was completed in a race against time as my fingers slowly froze, and tourists jostled for a prime selfie spot in  front of the tree.

rockefeller center christmas tree

Once I got the money shot, it was way too cold to continue drawing outside. We ventured downstairs, to an area outside the rink's "VIP Hot Chocolate Lounge," where there are tables - and, most importantly, a Starbucks.

rockefeller center ice skaters nyc
Lacing up to go on the ice in the "VIP Hot Chocolate Lounge"

Lacing up to go on the ice in the "VIP Hot Chocolate Lounge"

rockefeller center skaters

 It was fun to watch and draw the skaters bumble and tumble around. Most were fairly inexperienced, with the occasional seasoned skater twirling and leaping through the crowd.

ice skaters at rockefeller center

Berkshires Weekend Pt. 1

The weekend after Thanksgiving, Grey & I drove up to the Berkshires to see our friends Ted & Betsy give a reading from their new book, How to Babysit a Leopard: and Other True Stories from Our Travels Across Six Continents at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge MA. I'd never been to the Norman Rockwell Museum, and it was a real treat. 

Norman Rockwell's studio in Stockbridge, MA. © Carly Larsson 2015 

Norman Rockwell's studio in Stockbridge, MA. © Carly Larsson 2015 

After the reading, we ventured outside to check out Rockwell's studio (above). It's closed after October, but I snuck in a quick drawing of the exterior. It was a moody, grey day with soft diffused light. The deep azure mountains were blanketed in thick sheets of fog. I could get used to a studio with that view. We set out to capture some landscapes.

Landscape in the Berkshires © Carly Larsson 2015

Landscape in the Berkshires © Carly Larsson 2015

Grey had a vision for a photograph of a dilapidated barn in the woods, so for the rest of the afternoon, we went barn hunting. Driving aimlessly down winding country roads, we'd pull over every time we found one. I was freezing, so all these drawings were made from the passenger's seat with the heat blasting. 

western massachusetts barn
collapsed barn western ma

Grey deemed the barn (above, left) too dilapidated, having collapsed completely. 

barn western mass

This barn was not dilapidated enough.

barn western ma

This barn, leaning and sagging at angles I'm sure were not intentional, was juuuust right.

Portsmouth, NH

I recently spent a weekend in Portsmouth, NH with my boyfriend Greyson for a friend's wedding.  Shortly after arriving on Friday evening, we went to check out the cute little downtown and ate dinner on the water.  I brought my sketchbook, intending to draw the waterfront and a historic building or two, but of course by the time we were seated at the restaurant and placed an order, I realized I left it in the car. So I got to work on the back of the sushi menu with the little golf pencil they give you to order with. What do they say? Necessity is the mother of invention? 

The Memorial Bridge (above) spans the Piscataqua River and connects Portsmouth, NH to Kittery, ME via US Interstate 1. The bottom part of the bridge lifts up every 30 minutes to allow boat traffic through. Here, a tugboat passes underneath.

Even though I was born in New Hampshire, I've never been to Portsmouth & didn't know what to expect. The view from the waterfront downtown was much more industrial than I imagined. In the drawing above you can see that the shore was lined with cranes. Lots of tugboats and barges were coming and going.

Above is the tugboat Mary M. Coppedge, apparently the strongest tug in the harbor. She is a "twin-screw" tugboat, which means she has two engines and two propellers. There's a whole article written about her here. The guy in the drawing below was having fun putzing around in his little Boston Whaler. 

Portsmouth is nice. I wish we had had more time to explore the downtown and draw some of the buildings (there are so many historical spots!), but it's only a two hour drive from New York, so we'll have to make the trip again soon. 

The Corwith Cramer at Brooklyn Bridge Park

This past May, I spent the afternoon with my friend Audrey Hawkins drawing The Corwith Cramer in Brooklyn Bridge Park. (See Audrey's drawings from this day here). The Corwith Cramer is a 134-foot two-masted brigantine owned and operated by the Sea Education Association (SEA) out of Woods Hole, MA, just a few towns over from where I grew up on Cape Cod. 

carlylarsson_corwithcramer_brooklyn
Photograph © Etienne Frossard 2015

Photograph © Etienne Frossard 2015

The ship serves as a floating lab, classroom, and office for students and researchers. This particular crew was returning from a five-week voyage studying biodiversity and conservation of the Sargasso Sea region. The ship's arrival in Brooklyn marked the end of the voyage, which began April 20 in San Juan Puerto Rico. 

While we were drawing, Etienne Frossard, photographer for the Brooklyn Bridge Park, snapped our photo.

Happy Birthday, Melville!

In this same New Bedford there stands a Whaleman’s Chapel, and few are the moody fishermen, shortly bound for the Indian Ocean or Pacific, who fail to make a Sunday visit to the spot.
— Herman Melville, "Moby Dick"

In honor of Herman Melville's birthday today, here's a drawing I did last summer of the Whaleman's Chapel (aka the Seamen's Bethel) from Melville's Moby Dick. The Seamen's Bethel was built in 1832 as a nondemoninational church for the many whalemen to whom New Bedford was home port. It was tradition that one would visit the bethel at least once before setting out to sea. Melville himself came to New Bedford in December of 1840 and stayed until January the next year, attending many services here. 

Mystic Winter

With a snowstorm to ring in the first day of spring this year, I was certain winter would never end. As sick as I have become of layers, hunching into my jacket and doing the penguin waddle over treacherous sidewalks, the harsh cold was not without its beauty. Here are a few little watercolors I made on a trip to Mystic Seaport with Dalvero Academy this past February. We will be back this weekend, and here's hoping the snow and ice have thawed!

© Carly Larsson 2015

© Carly Larsson 2015

© Carly Larsson 2015

© Carly Larsson 2015

Brooklyn Museum

A few months ago I visited the Brooklyn Museum with my friend Audrey to do some drawing at the Killer Heels exhibit. At closing time I sat and drew some of the people leaving the museum while I waited for my ride. Here are a couple of shoe and people portraits!

NYC Marathon

© Carly Larsson 2014

© Carly Larsson 2014

Every year I intend to get out and draw the NYC Marathon, but for one reason or another it never seems to happen. I live a block from the marathon route, so there really is no excuse! This year I was able to catch the tail end of it and get a couple quick drawings in.

© Carly Larsson 2014

© Carly Larsson 2014

© Carly Larsson 2014

© Carly Larsson 2014

Halloween 313's Nightmare on Clinton Avenue

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Halloween 313 performances on Clinton Avenue. Coinciding with the Society for Clinton Hill's Annual Halloween Walk, every year on Halloween crowds gather outside 313 Clinton Avenue (home of Janna Kennedy, "the Halloween Lady") for free live performances. The performances are put together by an incredibly talented and dedicated group of volunteers including professional actors, producers, designers and artists from around Clinton Hill and Fort Greene. This year I was invited to draw inside the spooky parlor and also had the opportunity to draw the performances. 

Decorations inside the parlor of Halloween 313 

Decorations inside the parlor of Halloween 313 

The set of Halloween 313's 2014 performance "Nightmare on Clinton Avenue"

The set of Halloween 313's 2014 performance "Nightmare on Clinton Avenue"

This year's performance was entitled "Nightmare on Clinton Avenue," and is set in "Clinton Hell." Two neighbors, Kat and Thomas wander by the spooky old mansion discussing rumors that it used to be an insane asylum for axe murderers. Legend has it that the proprietor of the house forces the inmates to perform variety shows every year on Halloween.  Thomas dismisses the rumors as hearsay just as the warden of the asylum, Anesthesia Hangbody, appears and kidnaps him.

Kat and Thomas encounter Anesthesia Hangbody © Carly Larsson 2014

Kat and Thomas encounter Anesthesia Hangbody © Carly Larsson 2014

Kat approaches some police officers seeking help in rescuing her fiancée Thomas from Ms. Hangbody, but they report that no one has lived in that old house for years, and are utterly useless in helping her.

The police are useless in helping Kat © Carly Larsson 2014

The police are useless in helping Kat © Carly Larsson 2014

With nowhere else to turn, Kat seeks help from a haunted painting of a man Anesthesia Hangbody formerly abducted.

Eventually, Kat takes matters into her own hands and fights off Anesthesia Hangbody with a little help from the asylum inmates and the talking painting, all of whom are tired of Ms. Hangbody's abuse.

Kat engages in hand-to-hand combat with Anesthesia Hangbody.

Kat engages in hand-to-hand combat with Anesthesia Hangbody.

Some of the asylum inmates. 

Some of the asylum inmates. 

More asylum inmates, and Thomas in the back.

More asylum inmates, and Thomas in the back.

With a fiery pyrotechnic show, the haunted painting and the inmates finish off Anesthesia Hangbody once and for all. Then Thomas, Kat and the inmates celebrate as the former Ms. Hangbody's portrait is added to the wall.  

A pyrotechnics show signifies that the inmates are tired of Anesthesia Hangbody's mistreatment

A pyrotechnics show signifies that the inmates are tired of Anesthesia Hangbody's mistreatment

Charlotta Janssen puts the finishing touches on the painting of Anesthesia Hangbody while the inmates applaud.

Charlotta Janssen puts the finishing touches on the painting of Anesthesia Hangbody while the inmates applaud.

After the portrait of the newly deceased Anesthesia Hangbody has been added to the wall

After the portrait of the newly deceased Anesthesia Hangbody has been added to the wall

It was a great show and such a privilege to hang out with the incredibly talented cast and crew afterward! There are a few more drawings I decided to rework a bit after scanning, so stay tuned for more drawings from Halloween 313.

The Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest

Yesterday I went to Fort Greene Park for the 16th Annual Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest hosted by Fort Greene PUPs. As I expected, it was a hilarious event with many creative costumes. There were over one hundred entrants and they went by pretty fast, so it was a good challenge! Here are some of the dogs I drew! The winners were Ira Glass in first place, the G train in second, and third was Devo, who unfortunately I didn't draw. As always, please do not print or reproduce these without permission! If you see your dog and would like to purchase a print, or would like to use the drawings for some other purpose, please contact me at carly@carlylarsson.com. Thanks!  

Liberace Sled Team dog - this guy had a partner that I didn't catch © Carly Larsson 2014

Liberace Sled Team dog - this guy had a partner that I didn't catch © Carly Larsson 2014

Stay Puft Marshmallow Dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Stay Puft Marshmallow Dog © Carly Larsson 2014

© Carly Larsson 2014

© Carly Larsson 2014

Balloon dog! © Carly Larsson 2014

Balloon dog! © Carly Larsson 2014

Therapist dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Therapist dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Barking Bad dog, complete with a bag of blue meth © Carly Larsson 2014

Barking Bad dog, complete with a bag of blue meth © Carly Larsson 2014

This Dogzilla costume was hand knitted. © Carly Larsson 2014

This Dogzilla costume was hand knitted. © Carly Larsson 2014

This dog was wearing a green shirt with kale glued all over it © Carly Larsson 2014

This dog was wearing a green shirt with kale glued all over it © Carly Larsson 2014

Little Mermaid dog (had a Flounder counterpart) © Carly Larsson

Little Mermaid dog (had a Flounder counterpart) © Carly Larsson

Hula girl © Carly Larsson 2014

Hula girl © Carly Larsson 2014

This Hungry Hippo dog did not look amused © Carly Larsson 2014

This Hungry Hippo dog did not look amused © Carly Larsson 2014

Tater Gets a Bath © Carly Larsson 2014

Tater Gets a Bath © Carly Larsson 2014

Fluffy strawberry dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Fluffy strawberry dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Pineapple dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Pineapple dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Yankees player dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Yankees player dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Firedog © Carly Larsson 2014

Firedog © Carly Larsson 2014

Pug lion © Carly Larsson 2014

Pug lion © Carly Larsson 2014

Dust bunny dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Dust bunny dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Baby clown © Carly Larsson 2014

Baby clown © Carly Larsson 2014

Dorothy and a tornado © Carly Larsson 2014

Dorothy and a tornado © Carly Larsson 2014

Indiana Jones dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Indiana Jones dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Times Square Naked Cowboy (he didn't have a guitar though!) © Carly Larsson 2014

Times Square Naked Cowboy (he didn't have a guitar though!) © Carly Larsson 2014

Photoshopped Beyonce dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Photoshopped Beyonce dog © Carly Larsson 2014

F22 Bomber dog © Carly Larsson 2014

F22 Bomber dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Bee dog © Carly Larsson

Bee dog © Carly Larsson

NYC sewer gator © Carly Larsson 2014

NYC sewer gator © Carly Larsson 2014

Chia Pet © Carly Larsson 2014

Chia Pet © Carly Larsson 2014

Lobster bisque © Carly Larsson 2014

Lobster bisque © Carly Larsson 2014

Taco dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Taco dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Skeledog © Carly Larsson 2014

Skeledog © Carly Larsson 2014

There was a whole pack of these emoji dogs, but they went by too fast! © Carly Larsson 2014

There was a whole pack of these emoji dogs, but they went by too fast! © Carly Larsson 2014

Unicorn ballerina dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Unicorn ballerina dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Baby butterfly © Carly Larsson 2014

Baby butterfly © Carly Larsson 2014

Baby Christmas ham dog © Carly Larsson 2014
Brooklyn Bridge dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Brooklyn Bridge dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Paper shredder © Carly Larsson 2014

Paper shredder © Carly Larsson 2014

Selfie dog! © Carly Larsson 2014

Selfie dog! © Carly Larsson 2014

The G train dog won 2nd place. Its costume transformed into a shuttle bus. Jokes were made about the dog arriving on time. © Carly Larsson 2014

The G train dog won 2nd place. Its costume transformed into a shuttle bus. Jokes were made about the dog arriving on time. © Carly Larsson 2014

Hungry Hippo guy again © Carly Larsson 2014

Hungry Hippo guy again © Carly Larsson 2014

Cup Noodles! © Carly Larsson

Cup Noodles! © Carly Larsson

Wooly mammoth dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Wooly mammoth dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Minion dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Minion dog © Carly Larsson 2014

An adorable burger pup © Carly Larsson 2014

An adorable burger pup © Carly Larsson 2014

Shih Tzu in a toilet © Carly Larsson 2014

Shih Tzu in a toilet © Carly Larsson 2014

Morning after Mardi Gras dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Morning after Mardi Gras dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Mail dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Mail dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Eeyore dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Eeyore dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Chipwich dog... was actually white, but there was some ink spillage, so I just went with it ;) © Carly Larsson 2014

Chipwich dog... was actually white, but there was some ink spillage, so I just went with it ;) © Carly Larsson 2014

Hedwig and a dementor. There was a child with them dressed as Harry Potter © Carly Larsson 2014

Hedwig and a dementor. There was a child with them dressed as Harry Potter © Carly Larsson 2014

Fish dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Fish dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Alter cockerpoo © Carly Larsson 2014

Alter cockerpoo © Carly Larsson 2014

Star Wars ATAT © Carly Larsson 2014

Star Wars ATAT © Carly Larsson 2014

Shark dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Shark dog © Carly Larsson 2014

50 Shades of Grey dog © Carly Larsson 2014

50 Shades of Grey dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Sexy police lady (note the garter) © Carly Larsson 2014

Sexy police lady (note the garter) © Carly Larsson 2014

The winning costume, NPR's Ira Glass © Carly Larsson 2014

The winning costume, NPR's Ira Glass © Carly Larsson 2014

My friend Audrey went and drew at the Tomkins Square Park Dog Parade on the same day - For more cuteness, check out her adorable and hilarious drawings!